By Jim den Hollander
After dropping a pair of tough decisions Saturday, the RWD Bantam Cheavers came up with a big win for a satisfying end to a three-game weekend at Reedsburg Area Community Arena (RACA).
The weekend started out with a tough loss Saturday (Jan. 2) morning to Viroqua Thunder Bantams who pulled out a 2-1 win, scoring the game winner in the final period. Later Saturday the bantams ran into Region 4 rival, Monroe Avalanche, staying even with them through a period, but ultimately falling 9-1.
On Sunday, the Cheavers got a rare visit from the Stevens Point Ice Hawks and came out on top in a physical contest that saw the visitors rack up 21 minutes in penalties, by a 10-3 margin.
In the opening contest, teams exited the opening period without a goal scored and both notched one in the middle period, Kaden Uminski finding the mesh with help from Tye Barney and Tristan Edgerton.
Collin Simonson fired both Thunder goals.
Alex Griebe turned aside 24 of 26 shots in goal for the Cheavers.
Later Saturday the Avs led early but Barney pulled the Cheavers even just over two minutes later from Alec Breunig and teams were still even at 1-1 after a period.
Monroe added three more and piled up another five in the third period to pull away.
Griebe was easily the busiest player on the ice, kicking out 24 shots in the first period alone on his way to a 52-save contest.
On Sunday, the Cheavers opened a 3-0 first period lead and added another before the Ice Hawks finally hit the board halfway through the second period and cut into the margin a bit, Cheavers up 5-3 heading to the third.
Five straight unanswered third period goals tipped the scales heavily in favor of RWD through the final 17 minutes.
Breunig led the Cheavers with four goals in the contest, Edgerton adding a hat trick and an assist with other goals for Carter Renneberg and Gus DeFosse. Uminski had a couple assists with others for Kayla Garbacz, Bryan Mammos and Nick McPherson.
The weekend results moved the Cheavers to 15-5 on the season so far and the team is scheduled to play in a tournament at Sparta this weekend (Jan. 8-10)